Recipe courtesy of
Episode: Exotic
1 hr 40 min
1 hr
4 servings
1 hr 40 min
1 hr
4 servings


Grape Leaves:
  • 1 pound ground leg of lamb
  • 3/4 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jar grape leaves
  • 1 lamb chop or steak (fatty)
  • 2 lemons
Bechamel Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 lemon


Watch how to make this recipe.

For the grape leaves: Mix the ground lamb, rice, mint, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

Unroll the grape leaves, cutting off any stem, and pat dry. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling and roll up, tucking in the sides. Be careful not to overstuff.

Layer the leftover grape leaves in the bottom of the pot. Season the lamb chop with salt and pepper and place over the loose grape leaves. Line the rolled grape leaves on top of the lamb chop. Drizzle with the juice of 2 lemons. Fill the saucepan with water, only covering the rolled grape leaves. Place a plate over the top of the grape leaves to prevent them from unfolding. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

For the sauce: You are making a bechamel sauce. Melt the butter, then add the flour and cook off the flour taste, about 2 minutes whisking constantly. Heat the milk and whisk into the flour mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Add the juice of 1 lemon, stirring frequently. It may look broken, but bring to a simmer and cook until thick, about 2 minutes, stirring until smooth.

Serve on the side for dipping the rolls.

Cook's Note

I grind my own leg of lamb, like my grandmother did. Once I grind the lamb up, I divide it to use in various traditional and not-so-traditional Lebanese cooking. Also, cooking the grape leaves with a lamb chop in the pot helps produce some incredible flavor.



Crab Grape Leaves

Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon

Goat Cheese filled Grape Leaves

Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora

Lebanese Pita

Recipe courtesy of Malek Abijaoude

Dolmades: Stuffed Vine Leaves

Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora

Loin of Pork with Bay Leaves

Crab Salad in Endive Leaves

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Cooking Tips 3 Videos

Step-by-step photos

Eggs 101: Poached 01:24

These easy steps will have you poaching eggs to perfection in no time.

Similar Topics:


So Much Pretty Food Here